Muskego - For a young wrestling team such as Muskego this season, the prestigious and rugged E.H. Stech Tournament in West Allis promised to provide plenty of challenges.
That was certainly the case last weekend, as the Warriors dropped seven of nine first-round matches. They bounced back, though, and eventually came away with four top-five finishes, including a championship at 120 pounds by Austin Quartullo.
"The first round was very rough," head coach Sean Fortmann said, "but I thought our kids did a great job coming back through the consolation bracket and picking up some wins against quality competition. When you have a young team, everything is new for the wrestlers, so we are learning every day."
Quartullo won his 120 bracket with a 4-0 mark. He received a first-round bye, then pinned two foes before beating Max Carlin of Whitefish Bay, 3-0, in his title match.
"Austin has been our leader all year," Fortmann said. "He goes about his business the right way and is a great leader for our younger guys."
Connor Price finished fourth at 152 pounds with a 3-2 mark, while fifths were claimed by Jack Sarnowski at 106 (4-2 for the tournament) and Brady McFarland at 145 (4-2).
"I was also very pleased with Jack and Brady," Fortmann continued. "Both of them lost their first matches and came all the way back to place fifth. They are working extremely hard in practice, and it is showing up in competition."
Vinny Nazario (113) posted a 2-2 mark, while Taylor Pietrzak (126) and Colton Dillon (heavyweight) both went 1-2.
The Warriors tallied 70½ points to earn a share of 11th place.
Muskego also lost a 44-25 dual decision to Mukwonago on Dec. 13. Winners were Quartullo at 126 (15-4), Cameron Rygiewicz at 132 (8-4), Riley Wikel at 138 (pin in 4 minutes, 38 seconds), McFarland at 145 (7-2), Price at 160 (pin in 4:10) and Sarnowski at 106 (10-7).
The Warriors visit Waukesha West at 7:15 p.m. Thursday in a Classic 8 Conference meet. They then travel to La Crosse for the Bi-State Classic on Dec. 28 and Dec. 29.
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